Get the book here

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Dinging Bell is Nothing New

Rob Bell and his "insights" (read - dances) into the subject of hell is already fading into the woodwork (though not quickly enough)...but the controversy generated is nothing new...witness this from C. S. Lewis:

"I know that many wiser and better Christians than I in these days do not like to mention heaven and Hell even in a pulpit. I know, too, that nearly all the references to this subject in the New Testament come from a single source. But then that source is Our Lord Himself… These overwhelming doctrines…are not really removable from the teaching of Christ or of His Church. If we do not believe them our presence in this church is great tomfoolery. If we do, we must sometime overcome our spiritual prudery and mention them."

C.S. Lewis
The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses

Monday, May 30, 2011

Celebrate Memorial Day Daily

I think every one of my kids, and some others, has, at some point or another when walking through a cemetery, asked me why I salute certain headstones (obviously I'm not saluting the headstone, but the person represented by the headstone) answer? Gratitude and respect...with the hope that I'll meet them one day in glory...

I was doing that, as I'm sure many vets were, even before the closing moments of "Saving Private Ryan."

The "Altar Call"/"Invitation" System - A Critique

I enjoy, am challenged by, and often receive confirmation from the writings and preachings of Thabiti Anyabwile. He obviously has a great name; he also has a great heart for genuine ministry.

Here's what he declared in response to the question, "Why don't you give altar calls?"

I’m sometimes asked by people why we don’t do “altar calls” at our services. Like the people who ask the question, the churches in my personal background pretty much all practiced “altar calls” at the conclusion of a sermon or service. I’ve seen them done in very poor fashion, and I’ve seen some pastors be really clear about the gospel, repentance, faith, and the fact that “coming forward” does not save.

I date my own conversion to the preaching of Exodus 32, which concluded with an altar call.
So, why don’t we practice “altar calls”? I don’t think the pastor who practices an “invitation” at the end of a sermon is in sin, but he may not be acting wisely either. This list of reasons, compiled by Pastor Ryan Kelly of Desert Springs Church, is a pretty good summation of some of my thinking (HT: Z).

(note from Jack; Points 1, 2, and Thabiti's added #11 are undeniable and unarguable. I'm interested in what some of you think...and would hope you'd express your opinion by leaving a comment)
1. The altar call is simply and completely absent from the pages of the N.T.
2. The altar call is historically absent until the 19th century, and its use at that time (via Charles Finney) was directly based upon bad theology and a man-centered, manipulative methodology.
3. The altar call very easily confuses the physical act of “coming forward” with the spiritual act of “coming to Christ.” These two can happen simultaneously, but too often people believe that coming to Christ is going forward (and vice-versa).

4. The altar call can easily deceive people about the reality of their spiritual state and the biblical basis for assurance. The Bible never offers us assurance on the ground that we “went forward.”

5. The altar call partially replaces baptism as the means of public profession of faith.

6. The altar call can mislead us to think that salvation (or any official response to God’s Word) happens primarily on Sundays, only at the end of the service, and only “up front.”

7. The altar call can confuse people regarding “sacred” things and “sacred” places, as the name “altar call” suggests.

8. The altar call is not sensitive to our cautious and relational age where most people come to faith over a period of time and often with the interaction of a good friend.

9. The altar call is often seen as “the most important part of the service”, and this de-emphasizes the truly more important parts of corporate worship which God has prescribed (preaching, prayer, fellowship, singing).

10. God is glorified to powerfully bless the things He has prescribed (preaching, prayer, fellowship, singing), not the things we have invented. We should always be leery of adding to God’s prescriptions for His corporate worship.
Numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 of Ryan’s list are the most compelling reasons in my opinion. These would seem very serious objections for anyone who takes seriously the idea that our Christian lives and gatherings should conform to what the NT commands, models, and prohibits. Perhaps I would add an 11th: The “altar call” teaches the congregation to evaluate the “success” or “effectiveness” of the ministry on outward, visible actions and results.

Further, the need to be pastorally careful and sensitive with the souls of men needing to repent and believe couldn’t be more urgent. So, anything that obscures the reality of God the Holy Spirit’s work in conversion and the necessity of repentance and faith must be regarded–at best–a practice with potential to undermine the very work we’re giving our lives to.

Do people “respond” to the word of God at our services? They do. And we give them a number of ways they may follow up on what they’ve heard, from talking to an elder or Christian friend after the service, to scheduling an appointment during the week, to letting us know they would like us to visit with them, and so on. One thing I appreciate about our approach is that it allows us to meet, listen, question, encourage, teach and pray in a much more thorough way. By God’s grace we’re seeing people converted and profess their faith in baptism as the Spirit opens their hearts. We’re not perfect by any means. But I do hope we’re being faithful to the scripture’s commands, examples, and restrictions.

What do you think about Kelly’s list? Are you “for” or “against” and why? Would you add anything to or challenge anything on the list?

Never Forget

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Odds are...

You have that person in your life...probably a family member...who seems to closed to the gospel, even exhibits hatred toward Christ...and you wonder, is it worth even praying about? Dare I share anything about Jesus and His cross?

Well, duh, yeah! If they still have a pulse they it is "worth it" regardless how helpless and hopeless it appears...kind of like Lucy exhibits here:

Victory to Defeat - Thanks, Congress

This is not totally new to me, but as a Vietnam veteran it infuriates...As I tell school assemblies and elsewhere...the American fighting men and women did not "lose" Vietnam, the American people - their representatives - gave it away.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Does Satan Fear?

Many people I read and respect say this is the most important book published thus far in is a snippet that may whet your appetite...I have it, but it is about 3 or 4 books down the line...

Pastor, Satan doesn’t mind if you preach on the decrees of God with fervor and passion, reconciling all the tensions between sovereignty and freedom, as long as you don’t preach the gospel. Homeschooling mom, Satan doesn’t mind if your children can recite the catechism and translate the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” from English to Latin, as long as they don’t hear the gospel. Churches, Satan doesn’t care if your people vote for pro-life candidates, stay married, have sex with whom they’re supposed to, and tear up at all the praise choruses, as long as they don’t see the only power that cancels condemnation—the gospel of Christ crucified. Satan so fears that gospel, he was willing to surrender his entire empire just to stave it off. He still is.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Thinking Theologically About Memorial Day

(NOTE: Couldn't agree more with Kevin Deyoung on this subject...)

This is post probably has something to make everyone unhappy. But here goes.

With Memorial Day on Monday (in the U.S.) and, no doubt, a number of patriotic services scheduled for this Sunday, I want to offer a few theses on patriotism and the church. Each of these points could be substantially expanded and beg more detailed defense and explanation, but since this is a blog and not a term paper, I’ll try to keep this under 1500 words.

1. Being a Christian does not remove ethnic and national identities.

In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, slave nor free (Gal. 3:28), but this does not mean men cease to be male or Jews ceases to be Jewish. The worshiping throng gathered around the throne is not a bland mess of Esperanto Christians in matching khaki pants and white polos. God makes us one in Christ, but that oneness does not mean we can no longer recognize tribes, tongues, nations, and peoples in heaven. If you don’t have to renounce being an American in heaven, you shouldn’t have to pretend you aren’t one now.

2. Patriotism, like other earthly “prides,” can be a virtue or vice.
Most people love their families. Many people love their schools, their home, and their sports teams. All of these loves can be appropriate. In making us for himself, God did mean to eradicate all other loves. Instead he wants those loves to be purer and in right proportion to our ultimate Love. Adam and Eve should have loved the Garden. God didn’t intend for them to be so “spiritual” that they were blind to the goodness around them. In the same way, where there is good in our country or family it is right to have affection and display affection for those good things.

Of course, we can turn patriotism into an idol, just like family can be an idol. But being proud of your country (or proud to be an American or a Canadian or a Russian or whatever) is not inherently worse than being proud of your kids or proud to be a Smith or a Jones or a Dostoevsky. I find it strange that while it is fashionable to love your city, be proud of your city, and talk about transforming your city, it is, for some of the same people, quite gauche to love your country, be proud of your country, and talk about transforming your country.

3. Allegiance to God and allegiance to your country are not inherently incompatible.
Sometimes Christians talk like you should have no loyalty for your country, as if love for your country was always a bad thing. To be sure, this must never be ultimate loyalty. We must always obey God rather than men. But most Christians have understood the fifth commandment to be about honoring not only your parents but all those in authority over you.

Moreover, Jesus shows its possible to honor God and honor Caesar. This is especially clear if you know some of the Jewish history. The tax in question in Mark 12 is about the poll tax or census tax. It was first instituted in AD 6, not too many years before Jesus’ ministry. When it was established a man by the name of Judas of Galilee led a revolt. According to Josephus, “He called his fellow countrymen cowards for being willing to pay tribute to the Romans and for putting up with mortal masters in place of God.” Like the Zealots, he believed allegiance to God and allegiance to any earthly government were fundamentally incompatible. As far as they were concerned if God was your king, you couldn’t have an earthly king.

But Jesus completely disagreed. By telling the people to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” he was saying there are duties to government that do not infringe on your ultimate duty to God. It’s possible to honor lesser authorities in good conscience because they have been instituted by a greater authority.

If you read all that the New Testament says about governing authorities in places like Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2, you see that the normal situation is one of compatible loyalties. The church is not the state and the state is not God, but this does not mean the church must always be against the state. In general, then, it’s possible to be a good Christian and a good American, or a good Ghanaian or a good Korean. Patriotism is not bad. Singing your national anthem and getting choked up is not bad. Allegiance to God and allegiance to your country do not have to be at odds.

4. God’s people are not tied to any one nation.
When Jesus says “go ahead and give to Caesar what belongs to him” he is effectively saying, “you can support nations that do not formally worship the one true God.” Or to put it a different way: true religion is not bound with only one country. This means–as we see in Revelation 7 and Isaiah 49 and Psalm 87 and Matthew 28 and Acts 1and a hundred other places–the Church will be transcultural and transnational.

While American churches are in America, they must never be only American churches. We must keep in mind (and when applicable, explicitly state) that our congregations are filled with brothers and sisters from all over the world. Likewise, we must work hard to help people see that Christianity is not just a Western religion or American religion. Christianity started in the Middle East and quickly spread to North Africa, and parts of Asia and Europe. The Church was always meant to be international. Today there are more Anglicans in church in Nigeria than in England, more Presbyterians in South Korea than in the United States. The promise to Abraham way back in Genesis is that through his family God would bless the whole world. Christianity is not tied to just one certain nation. Following Christ is not an ethnic thing. You can be from any country and worship Jesus.

5. All this leads to one final point: while patriotism can be good, the church is not a good place for patriotism.
We should pray for service men and women in our congregations. We should pray for the President. We should pray for the just cause to triumph over the evil one. We are not moral relativists. We do not believe just because all people are sinners and all nations are sinful that no person or no nation can be more righteous or more wicked than another. God may be on America’s side in some (not all) her endeavors.

But please think twice before putting on a Star Spangled gala in church this Sunday. I love to hear the national anthem and “God Bless America” and “My Country, Tis of Thee,” but not in church where the nations gather to worship the King of all peoples. I love to see the presentation of colors and salute our veterans, but these would be better at the Memorial Day parade or during a time of remembrance at the cemetery. Earthly worship should reflect the on-going worship in heaven. And while there are many Americans singing glorious songs to Jesus there, they are not singing songs about the glories of America. We must hold to the traditions of the Apostles in our worship, not the traditions of American history. The church should not ask of her people what is not required in Scripture. So how can we ask the Koreans and Chinese and Mexicans and South Africans in our churches to pledge allegiance to a flag that is not theirs? Are we gathered under the banner of Christ or another banner? Is the church of Jesus Christ–our Jewish Lord and Savior–for those draped in the red, white, and blue or for those washed in the blood of the Lamb?

In some parts of the church, every hint of patriotism makes you a jingoistic idolater. You are allowed to love every country except your own. But in other parts of the church, true religion blends too comfortably into civil religion. You are allowed to worship in our services as long as you love America as much as we do. I don’t claim to have arrived at the golden mean, but I imagine many churches could stand to think more carefully about their theology of God and country. Churches should be glad to have their members celebrate Memorial Day with gusto this Monday. We should be less sanguine about celebrating it with pomp and circumstance on Sunday.

Perhaps Reflective?

I don't think I need to write about this...I can identify clearly, to my shame...perhaps you can, also?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Could be most important 3 minutes and 28 seconds of your life:

Yes, I realize some people have "issues" with Mark Driscoll (is it not amazing how much more we expect of other people than we expect of ourselves?)...but this 3 minutes plus video is a crisp, clean, complete presentation of the gospel...refresh yourself with it, examine yourself by it, and share it with others:

Many a Truth is Said in Jest - Altar Callics

Belated Birthday Props

Yesterday was Bob Dylan's birthday...some say, "Bob who?"

Is Bob now or has he ever been a Christian? Beats me.

But there ain't nobody like him, and this certainly is themed Biblically:

Hand Raiser

Well done video of a Chris Tomlin song that might even make a king-jimmy-baptist elevate hands...maybe:

Let's Not Use This Tool for "Decisions" or Full Altars - Please

Jane and I had the privilege of seeing a pre-release screening of "Courageous" last night.

The film, to be released in September, is the latest project of the church who brought us Firefly, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof.

And it is, by far, their best.

Built around the friendship of law enforcement officers and their interaction with evil and fathering, the film is convicting, and thus challenging. It's purpose - to provoke fathers to treat seriously and passionately their duties, responsibilities, and privileges as fathers.

It works - dramatically but not with a slice of cheesiness. Parts of the film are absolutely hilarious. Parts require the quick use of kleenex.

But it is tied together with a direct challenge to, well, man-up.

And there are a host of resources available, both for before seeing the film and after.

And I fear too many will use the film, take off on the dramatic conclusion, do the altar call thing without strategizing (and, duh, praying) how to get men from the moment of conviction to the disciplined weeks, months, and years of follow-up.

Showing the film and giving an invitation is the "easy" thing. Putting in the planning and praying to segue men into a group that will help them flesh out the challenge of the film is the grunt-work that distinguishes discipleship from momentary "events."

I beyond-heartily recommend "Courageous," and see it as a wondrous tool...but like any tool it needs to be used wisely, and long-term.

And, personally, I want to do all I can do to get this film shown in every prison in the country. The plot parallels the lives of most inmates; and the challenge to man-up, to make peace with your own not-involved father, will significantly impact inmates. Appreciate prayers as I knock on doors...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crack Up Everytime I See This

Yes, Jane homeschools our children, but we are not the type who think EVERYone works for us (usually) and has allowed the kids to travel with me without having to ask the states permission...

But Tim Hawkins nails the stereotypical homeschooler in this hilarious bit:


I was looking through a series of photographs of the tornadic destruction of Joplin, Mo when this shot teared me up...
Here is a man who, based on his cap, fought in Korea half-a-century idea what he saw or went through there; but here he is in his retirement and, according to the information, just lost his entire home and contents...
And I pray the gentlemen kneeling in front of him is offering hope in Jesus!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Sane Conversation About Alcohol

I hate alcohol perhaps only as an alcoholic can. I wish the Bible forbad drinking. It does not. Jesus did not turn water into "freshly squeezed grape juice."

I am opinionated on drinking in public, as I've written HERE

And I find this discussion helpful:
Alcohol from Harvest Bible Chapel on Vimeo.

Youth Worker? Vitally Important Sentence

If you serve Jesus as a youth worker...regardless of what the Board says, regardless what parents want (usually to pass their parenting responsibilities on to you), regardless of what is easier and shows quicker "results" (though they may vaporize the next day, week, month) and remember this, from Brett Kunkle of Stand To Reason (if you are not using this website, do so). 

If you are not directly involved in youth work, pass this on to those who are.

I noted that my PREVIOUS BLOG was one of the most important I've ever passed on; this is of equal importance...perhaps even moreso:

"Youth groups are good at telling kids how we should behave but undermine those efforts by failing to address what we should believe and why."

And...if you want to do something to "address what we should believe and why," you need to order and pass on several copies of this:

Being Formed, or Forming God?

What's bigger? God...or our theology? Am I being conformed (however slowly) to His image, or am I striving to conform Him to my idea of who He is and what He should do?

I would absolutely love to have the opportunity to sit down with Frances Chan one-on-one for a day or two..I think if you look up "humble" in an accurate dictionary his face would be there. (if you are not familiar with him, buy the book Crazy Love by clicking on the link to the it, read it, if you don't like it contact me and I'll reimburse you)

And this is perhaps the most important clip I've seen/read by him. I urge you to invest 8 minutes:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sight Lost - But Not Vision

Grace is a Strong Bridge

"Ah! the bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. I can hear their trampings now as they traverse the great arches of the bridge of salvation. They come by their thousands, by their myriads; e’er since the day when Christ first entered into His glory, they come, and yet never a stone has sprung in that mighty bridge. Some have been the chief of sinners, and some have come at the very last of their days, but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support; it will bear me over as it has borne them." Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saluting the Armed Forces

On this Armed Forces Day I say "welcome home" to all my fellow Vietnam veterans...

Like many things in life, if you've not been there,  you have no idea. In my experience the ones who come back from any combat zone and talk about it a lot have some type of agenda. The quiet ones are the ones who "been there, got the tee shirt" and don't want to relive it.

Like prison, I learned a lot there...but don't wanna go back.

From 1968-1968 I rode with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. I was not yet a follower of Christ, though had I been I still would have served. Prior to Nam I spent a couple years in Korea and a few months in Germany.

May we continue to pray for all the current military men and women in harms way; and thank those who have served.

Even if you are against war (in particular or general), do not disrespect the warrior.

The Right Paw of Fellowship

So, a charismatic, a baptist, and a reformed dude walk into a (root) beer bar...

No, not the start of a joke, but a set up for the following. Would it not be neat if we could substitute those words in the first sentence (along with many others) for "rabbit" in the cartoon and do as Linus does?

In a world running toward hell, why do we waste so much time fighting about secondary (at best) issues? Why do we spend so much time debating? Duh...because it is easier than doing what we are called to do...go and make disciples...

In Christ we are brothers and sisters, but not identical twins.

A Grinner

Got this in Kim Komando's computer newsletter today...rather funny:

A funeral director asked a young minister to hold a grave side service for a homeless man with no family or friends. The funeral was to be at a cemetery way out in the country. This was a new cemetery, and this man was the first to be laid to rest there.

The minister was not familiar with the area and became lost. He finally found the cemetery about an hour later. The back hoe was there, and the crew was eating their lunch. The hearse was nowhere to be seen.

He apologized to the workers for being late. As he looked into the open grave, he saw the vault lid already in place. He told the workers he would not keep them long, but that this was the proper thing to do. The workers, still eating their lunch, gathered around the opening.

He was young and enthusiastic and poured out his heart and soul as he preached. The workers joined in with, "Praise the Lord," "Amen," and "Glory!" He got so into the service that he preached and preached and preached, from Genesis to Revelations. (note from many people both in and out of the family of God refer to the last book in the plural?)
When the service was over, he said a prayer and walked to his car. As he opened the door, he heard one of the workers say, "I never saw anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic systems for 20 years."

Small Group Satire

Or..honestly it satire?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Obama Shocker: Backs Palestinians, Tells Israel To Pull Back"

This is from Gary Bauer of "American Values"

That was the headline on the Fox News website following President Obama's address today on Middle East policy.

A couple of days ago, I reported to you how mobs of Palestinian extremists threw themselves against the physical barriers marking the borders of Israel, threatening to overwhelm the tiny nation by sending waves of people against its borders. It was terrifying to watch from the comfort of our homes here thousands of miles away. But imagine if you were an Israeli knowing that your country is surrounded by Islamofascists who are just mere miles away.

The president of the United States threw his influence against Israel today by demanding it shrink behind weak and exposed borders. In his speech at the State Department, President Obama said that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should begin with the 1967 borders -- with some swaps. Prior to the 1967 Six Day war, Jerusalem was a divided city.

This puts tremendous pressure on Israel now to give in to a key Palestinian demand: The division of Jerusalem. The Palestinians are making this demand in order to undermine and deny the Jewish heritage of Jerusalem and any claim to the land of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of the Jewish state. During Jerusalem Day celebrations in 2009, Netanyahu declared, "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, a city reunified so as never again to be divided." Responding to Obama's speech today, Netanyahu called the 1967 borders "indefensible."

Depending on what these "swaps" mean, you may well see Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and other Iranian allies dancing in the streets of the Holy City. And there is one thing we know for certain: Instead of satisfying the Palestinians, the Iranians and other jihadists, the division of Jerusalem will only stimulate their appetite for the other half of the Holy City.

The people storming Israel's borders last weekend were not calling for a return to the 1967 borders or Israel's 1948 borders. They were commemorating the Nakba or "the day of catastrophe," when the modern state of Israel came into existence in 1948. Their goal is not to coexist with the "catastrophe." They want to end it. They want to completely destroy Israel.

It is audacious for President Obama to make such a radical demand on our ally in the very same speech that he acknowledges the merger of the Palestinian National Authority with the terrorist group Hamas. Obama suggested that "Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer" for this merger. Just imagine our reaction if any nation demanded we negotiate with Al Qaeda!

Obama's statement today seems certain to complicate his relationship with the American Jewish community. Today's Wall Street Journal indicates that key aides were in damage control mode even before his speech. It is also certain to galvanize America's evangelical supporters of Israel.

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"Mercy cannot cancel judgment apart from atonement." AW Tozer

Don't Criticize Until You Have Been There...

...or at least willing to be there....

Read this in an interview with former Navy SEAL Howard Wasdin in the May 23 issue of "Time." He responds to question, "So why did the team make the choice to kill Osama bin Laden?:

"The guys in the room made that decision. If you want to be in a position to make those
types of decisions, go join the team.
Otherwise, just say thank you."

Methinks that applies to any other profession/ housewife, parent, quizmaster, preacher, youthworker, etc

If you think you need to second guess people who have to make decisions; zippeth thy lip unless and until you've "been there, done that" or at least are willing to put the effort into it.

By the way, I just looked at the reviews; and just ordered the book. It was scheduled to be published long before the Bin Laden operation, so it's not a quick get it out and make money; the guy has been there, and it looks fascinating. Buy it (and, if you do, buy it off the link so I can make a few cents :)

Headstone With Purpose

Billy Graham's wife, Ruth, died a couple years ago, but only this morning did I learn how she wanted her headstone to read.

Googled it, and here it is:
Tough to read, simply says:

End of Construction; Thank you for your patience

I really like that...perhaps enough to steal the idea and use it on mine...

Have a dear friend whose first two wives passed away very young. When Sarah was dying, she told Phil she wanted her headstone to read, "Where Will You Spend Eternity?"  A few years later Phil's second wife died; she was buried next to Sarah with the words of one of her favorite songs carved into her stone, "In the Presence of Jehoveh."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bell Has Been Ding-a-Linging for a Long Time

For all the free press Rob Bell's Love Wins got, for all the heated discussion generated...why were people surprised?

I lost a lot of "friends" because I did not hop on the Velvet Elvis bandwagon years ago...


Read this snippet from Velvet Elvis: (gotta hand it to Bell, he writes "cute")

"What if Jesus had an earthly father named Larry? What is the virgin birth was thrown in to appeal to the followers of Mithra and Dionysian religious cults? What if the word for virgin referred to a woman who became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?" Bell suggests that none of this would be catastrophic to the Christian faith. "What if that spring (the virgin birth) was seriously questioned? Could a person keep jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live?" (in addition to being cute, he is skilled in asking question after question, without answering any; as his "interviews" and responses have shown...he should go on "Dancing with the Stars" as he has fancy footwork to avoid answering questions)

No virgin birth, tainted with sin Jesus...and thus no possibility of atoning for sin...The virgin birth is not optional; it is crucial to the gospel.

And the bell continues to toll for all who want to Thomas Jefferson the bible...cut out that which you don't like...

Best. Marriage. Proposal. Ever. End. of. Discussion.

Thanks to Pastor Micah Fries for pointing me to this:

If You Worry, Why Pray? If You Pray, Why Worry?

I thoroughly enjoy this concept...and this particular song (yes, any stalker witch-hunters, I know they are not "Christian", thanks very much for your alleged concern...[do I sound bitter? Nah...I simply despise did Jesus, by the way])


Blood Transfusion - Naturally

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Horrors! First Youth Group Accident!

In far too many churches and ministries there are vigilantes ever-alert to yell at the youth group leader because the students acted...well, like students. A misplaced chair, a small stain, a running through the "sacred" sanctuary...

Oh well.

Found this to be rather funny...sort of:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Need Some Good Medicine???

Laughter is good medicine, yes?

I know I'm late on this as you've probably already seen it, but, hey, I was on VACATION!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Refreshed by Time

I know we live in a fallen world, wherein creation growns; but there are parts of this planet that are stunning, amazing, and beautiful-beyond-description. Those adjectives apply to the days and nights we spent on Bald Head Island, just off Southport, NC.

I can't find adequate words to describe the "times of refreshing" that I received personally, and the blessings upon blessings Abba threw down on us.

From long individual talks with my sons, to two-hour solo bike rides each early morning, to Bible reading on a deserted beach, to fantastic food, lots of laughs...pretty-close-to-perfect so much more...

A picture may tell a thousand words, but these don't do justice to Bald Head:

                                                   Beaches were unbelievable crowded...NOT!

                                                    Sun up or Sun down...gorgeous stuff

                                                  Go on the dunes, pay a five hundred buck fine

                                                       Jacob & I hiked trails

    At the conservatory, Jacob wondered how much of him the shark could get in its mouth

                                              Janelle enjoyed taking pics throughout the days

                                           Only transportation on Island? Feet, bikes, golf carts

                  "Old Baldy"....the lighthouse...reminding us of the Lighthouse!